Please rotate your device

How to Define Buyer Personas: Speaking to Your Prospect in a Way that Matters

Oliver Cox

When marketing B2B services, it helps to know whom you’re talking to.

By asking the right questions of their target audience and creating detailed buyer personas, organizations can speak to the people that matter to them in the language they understand.

In the B2B space, however, you’re not dealing with consumers who make private purchases depending on interest and affordability. Instead, your target audience is made up of corporate decision-makers whose actions reflect the requirements of their businesses, the wishes of their superiors, and the needs of their teams.

To guarantee that your products and branded content have maximum reach and the greatest appeal, you need to develop different buyer personas for each of the employees you may interact with — as well as an action plan that capitalizes on their respective position within the organization.

Check out these four B2B buyer personas to start:

1. The Hero

the hero

The Hero’s company has a problem, so they’re in the market for a product that can fix it. If they can wrangle up a solution that benefits their teams while working within a budget provided by their managers, the glory-seeking Hero will be crowned with the laurels of victory.

When pitching to these personalities, stress how your product or service can accomplish the greatest good possible without breaking the bank. The Hero is a well-intentioned figure who wants to make the lives of their team members easier, so it’s up to you to communicate just how that’s going to happen. At the same time, they’re beholden to supervisors who are as budget-conscious as the Hero is glory-seeking, so do what you can to keep them from flying too close to the sun.

2. The Grower

the grower

Typically an executive or director, the Grower is interested in solutions insofar as they can generate profits and cut down on costs they see as excessive. For example, CEOs might be in the market for a new conferencing software in order to rein in travel costs. Whereas a mid-range salesperson might not recommend onboarding additional software because a) they’ll need to set aside time to learn it, and b) they enjoy traveling, the profit-oriented Grower is on the prowl to improve the company’s bottom line wherever possible.

If you’re dealing with this persona, remember that you’re primarily playing to an audience of one. The Grower’s cost-cutting initiatives may be unpopular with their wider team, but your goal is to win their business — not a popularity contest. Of course, you should still be courteous to their associates and underscore how your business’s solution can boost efficiency.

3. The Anaesthetist

the anaesthetist

No matter the industry, there will be pain points that cause organizational dysfunction, absorbing time that should be spent elsewhere. The Anaesthetist sees their team stuck in this bottleneck and is subsequently determined to lift the burden from their shoulders, no matter the cost.

Even if institutional fixes can alleviate the problem over time, the Anaesthetist is willing to pay for solutions that can get things moving sooner rather than later.

To get a foot in the door with the Anaesthetist, it’s up to you to wow them with the effectiveness of your product or service. Bring in examples of past sales — and subsequent results — to demonstrate that your business can bring their stymied team the relief they so desperately need.

While the Anaesthetist may not be as price-conscious as the Grower, don’t completely throw caution to the wind when it comes to cost. You want to develop a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship, and that means demonstrating that you have the best interests of the Anaesthetist’s company in mind.

4. Sergeant Head-Down

sergeant head-down

Outside of the C-suite, you may run into managers whose primary concern is ease of use and lack of workplace disruption. People with this mindset can afford to pass the buck on company profits. They’re more concerned with whether or not new products make their lives and the lives of their immediate team members easier — even if that creates more trouble for people elsewhere in the company.

For Sergeant Head-Down, the danger is that the time lost to changing systems, learning new products, and integrating them into daily life risks obscuring the benefits of your solution. The Grower will see (and personally be rewarded for) the benefit, and will make the organization adapt. Sergeant Head-Down, on the other hand, is not as clearly incentivized to increase efficiency, so your product may not be as smoothly integrated as if the Grower had implemented it.

That means that your task is to convince Sergeant Head-Down that your solution is supremely intuitive. Emphasize how your product has been seamlessly integrated into other clients’ workstreams, and you’ll be that much closer to sealing the deal.

Oliver Cox

Marketing & Innovation Lead

Originally from the UK, now builds custom strategies to share our clients' visions and stories. Novelist and musician in his spare time.

Read more of Oliver's Articles